Prayer for Vocations Seen as God's Appeal to Hearts

Pope Urges Serra Club to Renew Fidelity to Soul of Apostolate

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, SEPT. 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Prayer for vocations is God's way of knocking on the hearts of young men and women called to follow him in a special way, according to Benedict XVI.



This was affirmed in a papal message sent by the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to a convention of Serra International, a group dedicated to pray for and foster vocations. The convention concluded Sunday in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Catholic Anchor reported the Holy Father's message, in which Cardinal Bertone cited the Pontiff's homily from the conclusion of the Year for Priests in June. He affirmed: "His Holiness is convinced that prayer for vocations is itself ‘God’s own way of knocking on the hearts of young people who consider themselves able to do what he considers them able to do.’”

The note encouraged Serra members to "renew their commitment to prayer as the soul of their apostolate, confident that the Lord’s voice will make itself heard and raise up a new generation of priests and religious committed to the spread of the Gospel, renewal of the Church in holiness and the transformation of society in accordance with the values of God’s Kingdom.”

Archbishop Roger Schwietz of Anchorage read the letter after the Sept. 2 opening Mass. That Mass was celebrated by the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago.

Serra International was founded as an apostolate for laypeople 75 years ago. It has grown to 700 clubs in 40 countries, and counts 11,000 members in the United States alone.